These photos from 2013’s most popular posts prove that PCD readers can’t resist a clever polymer trick. Each of the top 10 posts offered a shortcut or a tutorial that revealed ways to make polymer do more than you thought possible. Knit it, batik it, glaze it to make it look like ceramic or fabric or metal and more.
Whether they developed their methods by happy accident or through careful research, what polymer artists share on PCD represents years of dedication and a willingness to share. Thanks to these top 10 and to all of you who have generously contributed your works to the blog. Have fun reviewing these favorites:
This imitative ceramic vase from Ariane Freisleben was among the 33 examples of student work on Iris Mishly’s site. You’ll see an impressive collection of ways that polymer artists have found to use the Cosmic Ceramic lessons for widely varying effects and styles.
But Ariane isn’t a casual polymer student. She is so enthusiastic about the future of polymer in Europe that she is constructing Galerie Freisleben, a beautiful class facility in the Bavarian countryside.
Ariane’s Flickr site shows more of her work as well as pictures of the renovations underway as she prepares the property to house 14 overnight guests and 18 class participants. A gallery and store are also in the plans. The opening festivities are scheduled for August with Canada’s Claire Maunsell teaching the inaugural class.
Israel’s Hila Bushari has helped a flock of birds take wing from her studio. You can watch as she cuts out the flat chicks that she makes into wall decor.
What brings them to life are the details and the faux ceramic glazes and finishes that she adds.
Mottled colors and textured surfaces give these otherwise simple creatures mystery and depth. Hila and Iris Mishly have developed a Cosmic Ceramictutorial series about their glazing techniques. See more of Hila’s glazing samples on her Flickr site.
Jannelle Berryman‘s Santa has already changed into civilian clothes and I hope you have too.
Jannelle has moved onto steampunk robots, monsters and polymer characters with a valentines flavor that you can sample in her Etsy shop where her originals are sold.
Since 1997 Jannelle has licensed reproductions of her works which are sold in giftshops. She started with a graphic art company, moved on to painting ceramic pots, and landed in sculpture and giftware. Though she dabbles in jewelry her main focus is her Pumpkinseeds Originals creations. She’s part of the Spooky Time Jingles crowd of folk art lovers as well.
Every year Susan Hyde’s Madonna reappears as one of my favorite Christmas decorations. Her colors make my heart sing. Susan’s art came in handy as I tried out a new camera that allows the viewer to change the focus by clicking on any element in the photo.
This appeals to the geek in me even though I’m not sure how the technology will be helpful to you. Close ups of jewelry? Peeks at work surfaces? Please click around and I’ll keep practicing.
From this angle you’d never guess that Beth Petrocoin’s polymer Christmas tree is built on a recycled beater from a discarded hand mixer. It’s easier to see the shape of the original below.
When the Etsy guild announced Recycled as their January design theme, Beth was all over it. She covered the beater with a thin layer of liquid polymer and applied strips of green polymer in a quilling style. Dots on the base are mirrored by red dots on the branches.
Recycling is one of Beth’s passions as you’ll see on her Flickr page and her Etsy shops here and here.
Malta for Christmas?
Registration is open for EuroSynergy in Malta this spring. Now wouldn’t that be a lovely present? No shopping, no wrapping, no assembly required for this dream gift that will allow you to meet up with a few hundred of the world’s most passionate artists who speak your language – polymer! Give this link to your favorite Santa. There’s even a payment plan.
Secret Santa Giveaway
Want to be a Secret Santa? Send the name of someone you know who’d love a Beyond Belief or Cutting Edge book from Dan Cormier and Tracy Holmes. For a chance to win, Email or Facebook (by private message) the name of your entry now.
Scroll down to the bottom of their latest newsletter or check Facebook for all the details of their Way2Give marathon. The entry deadline has been pushed back to midnight Tuesday…that’s tonight.
Lucie Struncova tantalizes us with these Bubbling Pebble polymer beads. This Czech Republic artist and entrepreneur alludes to an ebook but I couldn’t find it and I suspect that it hasn’t been released yet. (Let me know if you locate the tutorial.)
In these pebbles she combines unusual colors and patterns into a fresh graphic pattern. The yellows and grays update color combinations that you may remember from the ’50s. Lucie shows darker, distressed versions of her bubbles on sample beads here.
Still a teenager, Lucie (with the help of her father) has designed a new extruder and a slicer along with her own brand of clay for sale in her shop. All this in addition to an impressive collection of designs and tutorials. She brings an energetic youthful vision to our craft and you’ll want to keep your eye on her.
Doesn’t the name, BeadUnsupervised, intrigue you? The thing is, Carol Beal’s work looks unsupervised in the most delightful way. She mixes her media (fiber, felt, glass, wire and more) with abandon and she isn’t shy about color. She uses whatever materials and colors strike her fancy.
Carol’s background is in illustration and design and she is able to make lots of unlikely colors and textures play together nicely even though you wouldn’t think they’d get along. She gathers her samples on her Flickr page and sells on Etsy.
Need some suggestions for your last-minute shopping? May I recommend some of the excellent polymer books that have come out this year? Like Polymer Clay Global Perspectives by Cynthia Tinapple – you knew I’d say that, right?
Some other newcomers that offer good work plus valuable tips and tricks include:
Inspired by a fabric bracelet she saw on Pinterest, Sylvie Peraud sketched out a similar design using polymer with a buna cord hinge and closure. She refined her design, trying varying color palettes and textures.
On this one Sylvie used extruded strings and roughly textured trims. She backs the piece with black polymer.
Sylvie generously documents her process on her blog. It’s reassuring to see how time spent on Pinterest can be the source of new ideas and works.
To create this tiny Pocket Cat, Oregon miniature animal artist Kerri Pajutee blends polymer clay and wraps it over an armature of aluminum foil wrapped in masking tape and wire. Using tweezers and glue, she then methodically applies a permanent fiber coat layer by layer.
You can follow her step-by-step on her site where she even offers tutorials for her incredibly detailed work. Kerri limits her production of these 1:12 miniature sculptures to keep her life balanced.
Her Flickr site contains an unbelievable herd of tiny animals. Susan Lomuto featured them yesterday on DailyArtMuse (have you checked out her MAM newsletter) and I couldn’t resist the link.